Career Advice: Harnessing social media to boost your job search

11 January 2015 By Alastair Cleland

1468 Original

​To some, it might seem that social media has revolutionised the hiring process. In truth, recruiting has always been about networking; social media just makes this process much more effective.

Hiring through social media is often more efficient for all involved, and they're plenty of stats out there to provide the evidence. 92% of companies now use social media for hiring. Social media in recruitment is no gimmick, either; 73% of companies reported a successful hire through social.(Source:The Muse.)

So, if you're considering using social media to search for jobs or recruit, where should you start?

Start with LinkedIn: the modern candidate's best friend 

LinkedIn is your first stop for sourcing and job searching on social media. It is the greatest tool for job hunting and resourcing hands down. Not only is there a decent job search engine and a job board within the platform, LinkedIn actively matches you to potential opportunities then tells you about them via thumbnail ads and email, it doesn’t get much more convenient than that. 

Firstly, make sure your profile is up to date, pristine and professional. LinkedIn is not Facebook, so please make certain your profile picture is professional. Your pic is the first thing people see when they view you.

Do your research - find companies and vacancies you’re interested in then follow and interact with them. But also, search recruitment firms in your area, go to their company page and their employee’s (the recruiters) should show up on the right hand side. Message one of them or a few, don’t wait for them to find you. Chances are at least one of them will be in your network meaning you can then connect with them and or send them ‘inmail’ (direct message or DM) explaining your situation.

Evidently, it’s also important to be social in the real world so that you can connect with newfound contacts online. Such connections can include clients, former co-workers, industry figures, business owners, professional acquaintances, and friends and family who also then act as hubs for access to secondary connections.

Beyond LinkedIn: Use Twitter to build your social influence

More people are now setting up a professional account on Twitter alongside their personal account or alternatively just having one professional account. This is a great idea, interacting with your professional community and following companies and influencers within the industry.

Tweeting trending and relevant topics in your industry can be important for candidates especially as your recent Tweets and profile are likely to be reviewed by a thorough recruiter. Doing this increases your, (what is known in marketing as) ‘social equity’ or ‘social currency’.

Facebook: Mainly a network for you and your friends, but don't be caught out...

Your Facebook network is bound by your friends list in that you can only see the content that friends post (depending on individual privacy settings). However, there are some up and coming recruiting tools for Facebook that allow for more specific and targeted searches, so I would look out for them. Facebook has also changed recently, allowing you to list your professional skillsets in your ‘About’ section. 

In addition to that, keeping your professional info up to date on Facebook can be beneficial (as mentioned above), as well as following companies and of course managing your privacy settings. 

Happy job hunting!